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LONDON — Social media on both sides of the Atlantic and beyond lit up Monday with comments of support, excitement and jokes following news that the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton was in the early stages of labor.
Kensington Palace confirmed that the Duchess had safely arrived at the Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s hospital in Paddington, West London, to have a baby who will be third in line for the British throne.
Kelly Osborne, who previously criticized Middleton on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno for wearing an outfit in public twice, took to Twitter with a more supportive tone. “It’s all so exciting the Royal Baby is on the way!” the daughter of rocker Ozzy Osborne tweeted.
CNN host Piers Morgan, the former Daily Mirror tabloid editor, took to Twitter to give his thoughts on name and gender. “PREDICTION: A boy, called George, weighing 8lbs 2oz #MysticMorgan,” Morgan said.
Morgan also tweeted about how he watched a match of his favorite soccer team, Arsenal, while his wife gave birth in Nov. 2011. “Very soothing for everyone involved,” Morgan said.
One of the funnier tweets came from British comedy star and writer Peter Serafinowicz.
“Royal babies are tricky to deliver because of the whole silver spoon thing,” the joker wrote, adding #RoyalBaby, referencing the English noting that the aristocracy is born with the implement in their mouths, arriving into the world with an automatic advantage.
The social media frenzy reflects modern news cycles and the immediacy of headline delivery enabled by the Internet and global communications.
Some media commentators pointed to the fact that sources close to the royal couple has said they had toyed with the idea of trying to keep the news of the Duchess of Cambridge’s labor private until the birth. But the two young royals had ruled it out as an impossibility in the current social media climate.
Yet despite the availability of more modern and immediate methods of communication, the two are sticking to royal protocol where an official announcement of the birth will be signed by medical staff and messengered under police escort to Buckingham Palace.
There, it will be mounted on a gilded easel just inside the central gates for the press and well-wishers and is supposed to be the first public disclosure of details, which will include the baby’s gender.
The end of the waiting is now in sight for the hordes of global media representatives who have been camped outside the private wing of the London hospital in Paddington.
ABC News correspondent Amy Robach tweeted about the scramble to file as news broke, tweeting: “The Starbucks at St Mary’s hospital in London has turned into a working international newsroom!”
CNN International, on site for over 10 days, taking it in shifts outside the hospital, put up this message on social media: “The ‘#GreatKateWait’ is drawing to a close. Latest updates on birth of new heir to the British throne for CNN International.”
British Prime Minister David Cameron described the labor news as a “very exciting occasion” and that the whole country is “hoping for the best.”
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